Sunday, August 31, 2008

Scramble at Yonge and Dundas

One of Toronto's busiest intersections is now a test track for a new way of crossing the street. It's known as the scramble. What it means is that vehicle traffic stops with red lights in all four directions, followed by a pedestrian free-for-all, where people cross the intersection in any direction they choose: left, right, diagonally.
Toronto politicians decided to try out the scramble at four intersections: first up is Yonge and Dundas, followed by Yonge and Bloor, Bay and Bloor, and Bay and Dundas.
Some people like the idea, while others worry it might not be totally safe.
The city says it will be safer for pedestrians and better for cars, because when vehicle traffic is moving there will be no turning restrictions.
But the new signals will mean more delays for drivers on Yonge Street, as the time stopped at red lights will increase.
"It's time to give greater priority to pedestrians and a bit less priority to automobiles," said Gary Welsh, general manager of the city's transportation services when the idea was floated earlier this year.
I happened to be down at Yonge and Dundas today and tried the scramble crossing out myself. It seems to work well, but it was a little weired crossing the road diagonally. Even weireder to walk out into the middle of the intersection and take a picture with all lanes of traffic stopped.
story courtesy of

For Better Or Worse: The Epilogue

And this is how it ends....To see a larger version, click here:

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Patterson's say Good-bye

For Better or For Worse is a comic strip by Lynn Johnson that began in September 1979, and ended August 30, 2008. The strip is set in the fictitious Toronto-area suburban town of Milborough, Ontario: it chronicles the lives of a Canadian family and their friends. It is seen in over 2,000 newspapers throughout Canada, the US and about 20 other countries, and is translated into eight languages from its native English.
The final daily For Better or for Worse strip was published today. I predicted that the comic strip would end with the words "for better or for worse", but I thought they would be said by Elizabeth at her wedding. Instead Johnson switched it up by having Iris say them about her and Jim. Johnson had originally planned to retire but since her recent divorce she has decided to continue on in a limited fashion. Starting on September 1, 2008, Johnston began what she calls "new-runs", starting her storyline back at the very beginning, but with all-new art and jokes. This new material will occasionally be interspliced with strips from her original run.

This was one of the first comic strips I can remember reading as a kid. The Patterson family will always have a special place in my heart and they will be missed.
info courtesy of

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What me for President?

Seems like there may be another black man running for president. Check it out at:
(wait for video to load then press play)
courtesy of my buddy Purple.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Biking the Don Valley

We managed to make it out yesterday morning even after Saturday night's festivities. Man was it hot, and we both did not have alot of gas in the tank, but we sweated it out and damn if we didn't feel better for it afterwards. Someone is doing alot of work to the trail. This was only our third time mountain biking in the Don Valley this year, but we've noticed some pretty cool changes each time. This time we noticed that someone, most likely the city, built a number of switchback up this steep hill. It really used to be a ball buster climbing up this hill at the end of your ride, and it made it for some pretty intense downhills descents as well. The switchbacks were a nice addition to the trail, it gives you a great view of the valley as you head down at start of your ride and it takes a bit of the strain off the legs on the way back up at the end.Taking a break at the end of the bunny trail, a high speed trail which runs along the Don river.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Saturday Night Fun

So the plan was simple. We would start at one end of Queen Street and head in the other direction, stopping at each bar along the way for a beer. Or so that was the plan... ... turns out we only made it to four bars before we threw in the towel ... if only we had stuck to the one drink minimum ... but we sure did have a good time trying.

Traffic in the Big City

I had to drive across town yesterday. A trip that should of taken 20 minutes took more like 45 minutes due to construction, and road closures, and then I had to turn around and come back! Didn't look like the high price of gas was a factor out there today ... Oh the joys of life in the big city.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cam to Retire

Everyone's favorite O.P.P. spokesman Cam Woolley is set to retire, but don't despair, he will resurface on City-TV. Check it out:
He's everyone's favourite cop – the barrel-chested boy in blue with the booming voice and the big mouth. He's the ubiquitous mop-top preacher who keeps one hand on the Highway Traffic Act while he sermonizes about bad drivers.
He blasts his message over the radio and on TV with tall tales of demon speeders, traffic pileups and motorists who commit all sorts of road safety sins – like giving birth on the highway, tossing a salad while shifting gears or driving like a bat out of hell to get butter tarts before the local bakery runs out.
Cam Woolley, 51, is the Ontario Provincial Police sergeant who's tough on road crime, but too jolly to seem like he really means it. He's been blurring the line between officer and celebrity for the better part of three decades.
But on Sept. 1, he's retiring.
"It's been a pleasure," he said. "I don't think I've worked much in the past 30 years. To me it's been more than a job. It's been a calling."
But leaving the OPP doesn't mean stepping out of the spotlight.
Just a day after he hangs up his trooper hat, turns in his cuffs and surrenders his gun, Woolley will become the traffic and safety specialist for CP24. He'll broadcast live on the road from a new black-and-white Woolley-mobile, painted to mimic a police vehicle.
"I'm hoping to carry on the mission in a different way."
He'll be encouraged to speak his mind, he said, a trait that occasionally troubled the OPP and which led to a public clash with Commissioner Julian Fantino two winters ago.
His outspokenness includes highway horror tales that sometimes verge on the unbelievable:
A 7-year-old driving a big rig.
A tractor-trailer driver stirring dinner in a slow cooker perched on the passenger's seat.
A car that was totalled when it smashed full speed into a couch parked on Highway 400.
Were the stories all true?
"Only Cam knows," said Fantino with a chuckle, adding there was never any bad blood between the two.
Bill Grodzinski, the chief superintendent of highway safety – he introduces himself to non-police as "Cam Woolley's boss" – believes Woolley's far-fetched tales are legit.
"You see a lot of strange things in policing," Grodzinski said.
"What he's gotten in trouble for is for giving out statistics (on the spot) ... when he didn't have a computer in front of him."
Woolley began his career long before computers became an integral part of police work, but traffic has always been a key part of his job.
"I still remember her light-blue Camaro and blonde hair and the terrified look on her face," he said of his first OPP case back on Sept. 25, 1978.
He and another officer were called to an accident where a pretty, young woman, who hadn't been belted in, hit the back of a slow-moving truck. Her head went through the windshield.
While his partner called for an ambulance, Woolley comforted the woman. To this day he doesn't know whether she lived or died, but the scene remains etched in his mind.
Fascinated by traffic, he became a technical collision investigator and truck inspector. He earned a reputation for solving fatal hit and runs and became passionate about reducing preventable deaths and injuries.
Apart from a brief involvement with other issues – he successfully lobbied for better police handguns in the 1990s and went undercover as a loudmouth drunk at Ontario Place to catch people smuggling booze into the park – he's stuck to traffic. That included going public with what he believed were design flaws in Highway 407, prompting the province to delay the toll route's opening by six months.
An Upper Canada College graduate who dropped out of York University to join the OPP, he has done most of his work in the public eye. That includes a 20-year-old side business supplying vehicles to movie and TV sets. His fleet has included military tanks, ambulances, New York taxis and school buses.
He recently sold more than half the business to his partner so he could concentrate on his new TV gig, but he still has about 10 exotic vehicles at his four-hectare Tottenham property, halfway between Toronto and Barrie, where he lives with his wife of 24 years, April.
The vehicles include a Range Rover, a 1991 Ferrari Mondial convertible – which he said he never drives over 50 kilometres an hour – a new Chevrolet Avalanche and a Vietnam-era M37 – a four-wheel drive military vehicle equipped with an anti-aircraft gun.
He just sold his Rolls-Royce, Porsche and Mercedes, but expects that void will be filled with "more toys."
He's added to his celebrity by taking bit parts in more than 100 films and TV shows, he said, even playing himself on Degrassi.
But it's his best-known role, as the OPP's face of traffic in the GTA, that won him the most fans.
On one of his last safety blitzes, an area resident hoofed it out of bed when he saw Woolley broadcasting live on TV from a nearby parking lot. The burly cop was chastising traffic violators when 66-year-old Richard Eaton, wearing white knee socks, strode excitedly toward him.
"How you doin' Mr. Woolley?" Eaton asked, a big smile revealing a gold tooth. "Good for you Cam, gettin' all those bad drivers off the road. I see you on TV all the time."
Woolley, never without a line, winked at a gaggle of OPP officers before responding: "I watch you too. We can see through the TV."
Eaton grabbed the big cop's hand and wouldn't let go, so Woolley pulled him to the trunk of his squad car and slapped into his palm a 5x7-inch glossy headshot of himself in OPP uniform.
Woolley then whipped out a black felt marker and signed it. "This happens all the time," Woolley said. "People stop me in gas stations, on the side of the road, wanting my autograph." "He'll be missed," Fantino said. "But the one who'll miss him most is the media. He's always good for a quote."
At his penultimate "blitz," the kind of no-holds-barred-traffic-safety-free-for-all that Woolley has organized for years on the Friday before summer long weekends, the sergeant was holding court in a Whitby parking lot.
A cellphone at one ear, a wire wrapped behind the other and a microphone in his other hand, Woolley threw a smile at the CityTV cameraman. He winked at one from Global and told a 680 News reporter on the line – in his deepest radio voice – that "it's going to be a busy weekend."
Changing his spiel slightly to fit the tone of each media outlet, he wove together safety facts – 80 fewer people have been killed on the road this year so far to date – with anecdotes, like the couch smashing, salad tossing and babies born on highway shoulders.
After he finished his on-air bits, he swore that all his stories are true.
"They're too crazy. I couldn't make this stuff up."

Friday Afternoon Bike Ride

The moons aligned yesterday and I was able to go for an afternoon ride with my brother and buddy Tony who both had the day off as well. I picked my brother Barry up and we met at Tony's place. And we did the path along the lake to Port Credit, about 24 kms round trip. Interestingly enough, the Port Credit Boat show was on and we stopped to check it out. My brother is a big boat guy and here is a picture of him behind the wheel of his dream boat, A Tony Sopprano type cabin cruiser worth about $300 K. A guy can dream can't he?

Incredible Shrinking Me!

So, since I started biking this season, I've noticed something that I wasn't expecting. My pants are getting bigger, or I am losing weight. So I started hoping on the scale every few days or so and I couldn't believe me eyes, I was losing weight! I started taking pictures to ensure I wasn't seeing things and because that's what I do. Check it out!
Just another reason why I love biking!

Toronto Sunrise

Not to take anything away from my brother's sunrise shots, but we had quite a show the other day as well. Here's are some shots of the beach one morning with a storm off the in background.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sunrise in South Africa

... Some more shots from my brother down in South Africa. Check it out:
"So here are a couple of pictures of sunrise last week - as you know its winter down here so most mornings its still a bit gloomy round the time we get up but its getting to be brighter earlier - we caught this amazing sunrise mid week last week. - this is taken from our apartment window with all of Cape Town in the foreground."
Awesome shots! Thanks to my bro for the cool pix. As well, the baby countdown has begun. It is now nine weeks until their due date!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dog Eat Doug

As most of you know, I am a huge fan of comic strips. A new favorite of mine is a strip called Dog Eat Doug, a strip about life through the eyes of a puppy named Sophie and her trusted side kick, Doug the baby. Check it out and see if you found it as funny as I did.

Here is a series about going to the vet that made me pee my pants.

Doug and Sophie can be seen daily in the Toronto Sun ... I highly recommend them!

Friday, August 15, 2008

All Washed Up

I thought I found some interesting stuff on my morning walks along the beach, apparently I'm not the only one. Here's what I wrote about the stuff I've seen while walking along the beach:
My brother in South Africa sent me these picture's of what he found while walking along the beach. Check it out.
"About two weeks ago these two boats screwed up and ran aground and were washed up on one of the nearby beaches - they were meant to be re-floated and towed back out to sea then to a ship repair place - but after 10 days of serious pounding by 5m (15ft) waves one of the boats eventually disintegrated"
Thanks to my bro for the cool pix!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More Shots From Japan...

... some more shots (stolen from my nephew's facebook page) of Japan. Turns out all these shots were taken thier first weekend in Tokyo. Thanks to Aaron for the cool shots. Enjoy...